New seafarers certificate to make it easier for Seychellois to work on foreign ships
Seychellois seafarers looking to work on foreign-flagged vessels will undergo less scrutiny as the island nation’s gears up to sign Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with around 10 countries on mutual recognition and endorsement of certificates.
Through the MOU, Seychellois seafarers will be issued with a Seychelles’ Seafarers’ Certificates of Competency.
Seafarers holding certificates issued by the member states in accordance with the relevant provisions of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) will also benefit from the MOU.
The deputy chief executive at the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA), Brigitte Adrienne, told a press conference on Monday that “it will benefit Seychellois seafarers in terms of employment should they choose to work on foreign-flagged vessels that have signed the MOU with Seychelles.”
“It will be much easier for them as they will not be scrutinised as other countries that have not signed the agreement. It will also benefit the Seychelles Petroleum Company Limited (SEYPEC) tankers in regards to nationals who are recruited on these tankers,” said Adrienne.
She outlined that there are key positions on SEYPEC tankers that cannot be filled by Seychellois as they do not qualify for the position. The signing of the MOUs will make it easier for SEYPEC to recruit these foreign nationals until Seychellois can be trained for the position.
The chief executive of SMSA, Joachim Valmont, said that this MOU is very important because since 2015 Seychelles has been on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) white list.
“When you are on this list you need to maintain a certain standard. We were audited in 2016 by IMO and it was outlined that Seychelles does not have an agreement with other countries even if Seychelles has tankers plying internationally and that there are non-Seychellois seafarers working onboard our tankers,” said Valmont.
Last week, the Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers approved the signature of such an agreement with other countries that have been whitelisted by IMO.
SMSA has certified the Seychelles Maritime Academy (SMA), where basic STCW training is carried out. At the same time, SMA also has an agreement with the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) based in Sri Lanka.
“When there is a lack of experts to carry out any particular training, they are brought in from CINEC. This training allows mariners to be certified under the convention and to be able to go work on Seychelles flagged vessels,” said Valmont.
Adrienne explained that at the moment “these MOUs have not yet been proposed to these countries and once they are, each country will have to see if they agree with the terms of the MOU to recognize the certificate of competency and from there, we will recognise each other’s certificate.”
On his side, the transport minister, Anthony Derjacques, outlined that on Tuesday he will be meeting with the Ambassador of Georgia, who is interested in signing this MOU with Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean.